The Data Agenda

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Individual Mandate's Impossible Mission

Healthwatch is carrying the water for the Administration. Upon a West Virginia Democrat departing the ACA reservation, it concludes its reporting by noting:
Delaying the individual mandate would deal a severe blow to the healthcare law and could make it altogether unworkable.

The unpopular provision was included in the healthcare law to help prevent massive premium increases.
One has to ask the question, How did the health insurance industry ever exist before the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act?

The answer is, insurance companies put a ceiling on how much they would pay called a lifetime cap. It was a very high ceiling with a couple commas in it. For most people, the difference between a lifetime cap and no cap would be at most about six more months of life.

For the cost of health care, the limit served an important purpose. It held down costs and kept them from becoming unlimited. Now, with the Affordable Care Act, that limit has been removed, and insurance companies are required to accept all million-dollar patients.

There is no mandate that can fill an unlimited ceiling on costs.

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